One of the most common tasks that retirement-focused financial planners are asked to do on behalf of their clients is to help optimize their Social Security claims, and the goal is generally to maximize the amount of wealth an individual or couple receives from federal programs.
It may therefore come as a surprise that in certain limited circumstances it actually makes sense for customers to temporarily suspend their Social Security benefits. In fact, as explored in a new blog post published by Norm Haug, an analyst and staff member of the National Association of Social Security Analysts, there are many reasons why customers might want to stop receiving benefits or want to repay the money they received after making a claim.
As Fidelity Investments explains, there are two ways to “start over” a Social Security claim: suspension and cancellation.
Customers who reach full retirement age can suspend their benefits and earn delayed retirement credits, and their monthly benefits can increase up to age 70, but they can resume their benefits at any time.
Customers of any age who receive benefits may withdraw their claims within 12 months. They will have to pay back any benefits they or their spouses and dependents receive, and the Social Security Administration will treat them as if they weren’t enrolled, Fidelity explains.
Based on Haug’s blog and Fidelity’s guide, see the slideshow to see the various reasons why customers might benefit from suspending Social Security benefits.